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Bamboo Community Center Celebrates Tradition While Exploring Modern Green Design

Thanks to its abundance and extreme strength and flexibility, bamboo is the ideal material to help creative-minded community builders realize their dreams. As Vietnam’s industrial boom lures many of its citizens away from the farms of their ancestors, an appreciation for tradition and cultural identity has decreased. Concerned Vietnamese, like architect Kien Viet, recognized this alarming side effect of national development and decided to create a cultural center where community would be celebrated. The remarkable result is Suoi Re Village Community House in Luong Son — a multi-purpose structure accommodating teaching, living and meeting spaces, a library, and a recreational courtyard.

Activity at the Community House focuses on bolstering education, collaboration and cultural conversation — and all this takes place amongst uniquely green designs. Using local materials like bamboo, stone and compressed earth, Kien Viet designed the structure with a solar cell system, rainwater collection tanks, geothermal heating and energy-efficient LED lighting. He hopes that local Vietnamese who still build their own homes will start to incorporate similar green technology. Although the Suoi Re Village Community House focuses on bolstering cultural identity and is reminiscent of the architecture traditions of the area’s Kinh and Muong people, its design is anything but traditional. Set against the lush jungle backdrop of a Suoi Re valley, the massive structure features a nautilus-inspired spiral staircase, sturdy, polished bamboo flooring, skylights, and a terraced, amphitheater-style outdoor gathering place. From across the globe Suoi Re reminds us what can be accomplished when bamboo meets green innovation and creativity.

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